Book 8, part 2. The Rites of Love (2006)
Where should we have our babies?
How hard it is to write in a dry style, and yet it is absolutely necessary to determine, without agitation or emotion, where the best and most comfortable place is for parents and infants to go through the birthing process. In a hospital operation room or a home setting?
As far as I know, the first maternity homes appeared during the period of slavery in Ancient Egypt and Rome, where they were organised for pregnant slaves.
A birthing slave-mother stayed from five to nine days with her baby before returning to work. She was allowed access to her child for nursing and at nighttime. This continued from six to twelve months. It was different in different places, depending on how the slavemasters treated their slaves. After being weaned from its mother, the child was taken care of by specially trained slave-nurses. Later, when the child had grown, he would go off to be raised by other slaves, depending on the function designated for him by the overlord.
For example, boys might be handed over to specialists to be trained as warriors. After going through special physical training and psychological conditioning, these warriors, who knew not their parents, proved to be the most loyal to their slavemaster. They were brainwashed from childhood to consider him as father and mother — in short, God. There was even a religion worked out especially for the purpose of this brainwashing.
How close seems this situation from antiquity to our reality today! A maternity home — nursery — kindergarten —
school — college — and presto, the slave is ready; But since the slavemaster is invisible, the slave thinks he is free and, consequently, will not rebel.
The elite of Ancient Rome and Egypt, and even their middle classes, couldn’t begin to imagine, even in their wildest night-mares, the birth of their own children outside the home.
They would first call in midwives, later doctors and soothsayers.
In Russia the first huts for birthing mothers were designated for prostitutes. Sometimes this category of women went off to give birth in a gypsy camp, where they would leave their unwanted children to be raised by the gypsies. The gypsies accepted them.
A ‘maternity home’ — or a maternity ward in a hospital — is utter nonsense. It is clear testimony to the loss of women’s instinct to continue the family line, as well as to modern Man’s ignorance, not only of his pristine origins but even of the fundamental culture of feelings — his loss of feelings of true love for his wife and child as being a part of himself and his legacy
A child born in an institution cannot be exclusively yours. He belongs to someone else besides. The birthing process includes conception, carrying to term and the appearance of the infant in the world. And the last stage is no less significant than the rest. If you hand him over to strangers who are completely indifferent to both you and your offspring, then you have less than a fall relationship to the birth. Consequently, you will not have fatherly feelings for him in full measure, and he will feel this, and afterward requite it with an absence of strong filial feelings toward you.
More than that, the love will not be what it could. Such a child will not be able to love — not just his parents, but life itself, since life was never, right from the moment of his appearance in the world, presented to him as something attractive.
Of course this lacuna can be compensated for by means of certain behaviour toward the newborn, but that is by no means easy
The birthing of children among different peoples of the world can be considered more and more perfect the farther we go back in history, and primitive in the absurd today In our modern world it has become tantamount to removing the appendix from the body of a sick person.1
And so I should now like to switch to a brighter note. In spite of everything, mankind is beginning to ponder the meaning of what has been happening.
In Russia, America and France, so-called ‘schools of spiritual midwifery’ have sprung up. There is also an organisation known as the Association for Prenatal Education’ active in a number of countries.
Courses on home births are being offered in Moscow and St. Petersburg. People are trying to bring back the knowledge and traditions they have lost — the love they have lost.
Let us see how the birthing process took place in Vedruss families. According to Anastasia’s account, it went as follows.